Arms including a British Army issue SA 80 rifle, were uncovered by crown forces in the Ballymoney offices of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party yesterday, 17 May.
The weapons find also included a belt-fed Browning .30 machine gun and two semi-automatic weapons.
Ammunition, uniforms, baseball bats and other equipment were uncovered after the crown forces, said to be acting on a tip-off, forced their way into the Edward Street offices of the loyalist party at 8am on Wednesday.
Given that North Antrim in general and Ballymoney in particular is a UVF stronghold there is little doubt that the UVF dumped the guns in the PUP office. In the last two years, moreso since the killing of LVF leader Billy Wright, loyalists in Antrim have been flexing their military muscle and a number of reports over that period said they were rearming.
The extent to which they have rearmed, with modern sophisticated weapons, should worry nationalists. The UVF was behind the killing of the three Quinn brothers in the town's Carnnaney estate in July 1998, while Sinn Féin member Malachy Carey was shot dead there in December 1992 as he waited for his girlfriend to finish work.
Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly told An Phoblacht that this discovery, ``gives substance to the threats issued to republicans and nationalists over the past weeks. People need to be careful''.
RUC off the hook again
RUC officers responsible for making threats against Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson will not be disciplined.
In a letter to the Nelson family, the Independent Commission for Police Complaints say that those officers responsible for threatening Nelson before she was killed by loyalists will not be disciplined.
Late last year, the DPP also refused to prosecute these men.
All these rulings do is let the RUC off the hook. They do not exonerate them.
In both his reports into intimidation against defence lawyers in the North, UN investigator Dato Param Cumaraswamy included the accusations of threats against Nelson.
The first of his reports was issued in the weeks following Rosemary's death, while the second, released at the end of last year, repeated the accusation.